klipschorns & cornwalls/ alk crossovers

i need help from some serious klipsch owners,i have 1 pair of k-horns & 1 pair cornwall 1s with newer mcintosh amps,i can go on all day about what i like about klipsch but its what i dont like,it sounds to me that i need more or better mids,k-horns are great & need nothing but the cornwalls need help,im 15,000 into my rig now & im not gonna start over,i need to work with what i have,i was thinking about the ALK crossovers,what will they do for me,i recently auditioned the b&w 801s & my klipsch stuff blew them away in the bottom end but the top end didnt come close,i tried silver wire & it helped some but not enough,i was also thinking using the mids from the klipsch tscm's which have 4 drivers per each horn,throw me a bone please.
My best advise is to go to the Klipsch website and click "Forum". Ask your question there and I am sure you will get some answers that will center in on your concerns. I have Klipsch Belles with type AA crossovers and have none of the problems you mention. Good luck.
Definitely read the Klipsch Forum's as Jwc37 suggests. You can read my comments on MY experience and opinion of the ALK on my LaScala's by reading my comments on my Virtual System. In a nutshell, I prefer the Klipsch AA's, but if you like a cleaner focus at an expense of soundstage width and depth go for the AlK. YMMV though and it is well worth getting more input. I think it is pretty unusual to find that any of the Klipsch heritage products fall short in the midrange. Are you sure all your horns are working properly and that you have not blown out a diaphragm, or have a bad crossover, bad oilcap, loose wire, etc.......have you gone through everything on the Cornwalls? If you pointed to one of the extremes (high's or lows) I would not be as surprised, but the Klipsch Heritage speakers are midrange champs, especially with tubes. You start out by saying it's the mids that are lacking and later on mention the "top end". Which is it? Are your Macs tube or SS? If they are SS, well then, my truly jaded opinion is that you are wasting a pair of good horns. I have only heard these speakers sound harsh with SS amplification. With tubes they are heavenly to my ears. If it's the mids you are lacking in, I would check those drivers, crossovers and connections and make sure that's all working before taking more expensive actions.

thanks,ive allready had the horns re-done with new dioframs & it helped out in the tweets but not the mids,as for the x-overs they LOOK TO BE IN GOOD SHAPE but i know little if anything about the testing or maintenance of x-overs,HOW DO I CHECK THEM OUT,my amps are SS but perform awesome with my k-horns & the sound from the k-horns is perfect,any suggestions as to who is the best at rebuilding them.
If you like the sound of your amps with the Khorns they shouldn't really be night and day difference over the Cornwalls since they use the same drivers, albeit in an entirely different housing and crossover. Still, the sonic signatures in those examples I've heard side by side are pretty similar, with the Khorns having far more full-body and authority when done right. The Khorns, if placed well (in your room in the corners), are not going to be equalled by the Cornwalls in terms of how they sound overall and the balance of the acoustic spectrum. As far as X-overs, the wiring stuff should be pretty self-evident if anything is loose or worn. In terms of actual testing of the individual components you'll have to consult someone who knows better than I. I'm sure you'd just need a digital multimeter to do it. Obvious things to check for are oil leaking from the capacitors (those big mettalic towers on the X-over). If leaking you might see an oil stain beneath them on the wood. Rebuilding them with original parts may be difficult as some of the parts are no longer available and you'd have to find substitutes. There are threads on the Klipsch forum that address those substitutions and folks there who could help for sure. Other than that you could always keep an eye out for a pair on eBay, but that could be hit or miss too. AlK does provide plans for building his crossover....they may be on his website. I think the Klipsch forum will garner more information than you may get here on such a specific Klipsch question.

Also, this could be an entirely room-related problem. You did not mention whether these are in two different systems, or are you comparing them side-by-side in the same room. The room itself can make a whole world of difference in how a system sounds and could certainly account for the discrepencies. Just a thought.

Good luck Joe!

Horns & tubes rule, my friend. I once had Mac solid state (sand)amps on my K-horns & Cornwalls... not bad, but a bit harsh like you described.

Remember w/ K-horns, the first watt is the most important, actually the milliwatts leading up to the first watt. Solid state amps specifications are rated at full power & not very low output levels. That's where they suffer.

I would check out low powered triode amps for the ultimate sound for your horns.

I wouldn't go the ALK x-over route. Bob Crites makes awesome original crossovers (Type A & AA) from Paul W. Klipsch orginal specifications. I just hooked up a pair & they sound very, very good.

Good Luck, have fun & enjoy!
i took the advice & went to the klipsch forum,wow what a mess it is there,if you want to get your system trashed by a bunch of guys who dream of 1 day owning a optonica or a bose wave radio its the place to go but i wont be going back,i looked around in other area's of the klipsch site & its pretty sad,everybody throwing insults around & questions being answered by people who dont know when to be serious & when not to be,as much sweat as we all put into our gear its hard to believe that even a fool would behave the way they do,that kind of site might be fun for some but it isnt even in the same league as audiogon!
Haven't been there in a long while BigJoe, but last time I was there there were plenty of folks who knew of what they spoke. Sorry to hear it may have gone downhill since then. A scenario as you describe would send me running for friendly grounds too. I've still puzzled over your midrange woes (at least I think that is what you are saying), and have come up with no better answers than I've already suggested. Again, I've never heard horns sound good with SS, but that's not to say that it cannot sound great to someone else. Perhaps the AlK would help, but that's an expensive experiment if it does not. If you build them yourself perhaps you could break even.

Good luck....let us know what you figure out.


hello jax2, i took your last advice & concentrated on the xovers,i couldnt see any thing wrong then i remembered that i had a old hammered pair of cornwall cabinets in the basement with the xovers still intact,i swapped the xovers & there was a HUGE improvement in all areas espically the mids,i run my system in quad with the cornwalls & khorns all powered by mac ss amps & i couldnt figure out why the khorns sounded so much better in the a b test,now i know,i think that the crossovers in most cornwalls may be part of why they get a bad rap from alot of others due to factory placement of the xovers i think they may take a beating from the music,i also built a little shelf in the cabs & installed the xovers on a isolation mat to keep them flat,i toiled with this for a long time & thank god its fixed now i can pull the rest of my hair out thinkin about other stuff,thanks again.

Ok as someone who's sold Klipsch over the years, owned the entry level stuff I've tinkered with, and heard some of the older Khorn stuff, I have some quesions/comments...
...first, what's the deal with "improved crossovers" for Klipsch speakers? I've heard a few posts over the years commenting on Klipsch "crossover upgrades", and what an improvment that makes. But I'm not certain on models/applications, etc. Can anyone comment?
Also, where do you get these "mod's?"
My experience with the Klipsch speakers has been one of frustration more than anything. I mean I love the pressence and sensitivity/dynamics a horn can offer. But I just have thought that most Klipsch speakers where a bit warm, plain, or sometimes harsh sounding with the older speakers. Yes, they need tubes, indeed. Infact, I tinkered around with some little Klispch SB1's/2's last year, and got some pretty good restults for what there were!!!!...very nice with tubes indeed.
Still, what with the more expensive/bigger dudes? Anything to consider with upgrades?
exertfluffer you are correct,i own just about all the heratige line & i too get very frustrated with them,i tried them with tubes & found the best results for me with mcintosh solid state,IMO most klipsch are very placement & setup sensitive maybee a little more than most other brands but when you do FINALLY get them dialed in there is nothing like a good set of horns,i do belive i finally got my cornwalls dialed in & from what im hearin now with them & the khorns im super happy.
Exertfluffer - You can find more information about AlK crossovers for several of the Klipsch Heritage speakers which were designed by Paul here. You can also read a review of them by one reviewer on EnjoytheMusic site here. I personally did not care for them on my LaScalas in my room, but YMMV, and there are plenty of folks who love theirs. My very biased and strong opinion about the Klipsch gear being produced by the company today is that it doesn't hold a candle to the gear designed by Paul (they are still producting both the LaScala and Khorn but IMO with lesser parts and quality control in production than those of the vintage build - still those designs are certainly worth consideration though I'd go for vintage before buying new). Labor and parts are currently being outsourced all over the world. I ordered a replacement passive woofer for a pair of Forte's I owned a while back and the replacement was horribly constructed with very sloppy glue application and no gasket. It was assembled in Mexico. I phoned to complain and after several calls got someone to agree to take it back at my shipping expense. The replacement they sent was not much better. Their current product line (with the exception of Pauls designs) is more in the mass-market category as opposed to high-end. Stick to the vintage stuff designed by Paul and built in the 70's and 80's.

Hey Bigjoe - glad you figured out the problem and it was a simple one! Enjoy the speakers!